Necessity vs Possibility – the power of our Language

PossibilityHave you stopped to analyse the words you use and how they may be related to the results you are getting? How is what you are saying to yourself affecting the way you feel? Are you speaking from a place of necessity or possibility?


Let me explain. You see, all words have energy attached to them. Think of these words:

  • Love
  • Kindness
  • Compassion
  • Light
  • Smile

Compared to these words:

  • Hate
  • Fear
  • Darkness
  • Scowl
  • Mean

Notice the energy. Notice how your face changes. Notice your mood. How do you feel when you read each word? We are all very aware of these words and most likely use them carefully. You wouldn’t accidentally say “I hate you” to a loved one. Well, unless they eat all your Tim Tams…

The things to look out for are a sneaky bunch of words that infiltrate their way into our day to day conversations, and without even knowing it, they are sabotaging our lives. Sounds extreme? It is!

How many times do you catch yourself saying “I should go to the gym”, “I must get this work done”, “I need to be on time”? How does it make you feel? Think of the energy behind these words:

  • Should
  • Must
  • Have to
  • Need
  • It is necessary
  • Ought to

Compared to these words:

  • Can
  • Could
  • Possible
  • Am
  • Choose
  • May
  • Will

The difference is a bit more subtle than the first examples, but can you sense it? These sneaky little words are known as Modal Operators – verbs that modify how activities are done – and they are EVERYWHERE in our language. The first list are what are known as Modal Operators of Necessity. The second list are Modal Operators of Possibility. Louise Hay even goes so far as to say the word “should” should be banned from our language. And I agree. It’s right up there with “can’t”. How helpful is telling someone they “should” do something? In fact, I’m sure they only person I say “should” to is myself. I think I would be short of friends if I ran around telling them they “should” do this or that.

Think about the way you are talking to yourself. Are you talking out of necessity or possibility? Is what you are saying to yourself getting you the results you want? How useful is your self-talk? If you could do with an overhaul, start replacing words like “should” and “must” with words that are about possibility and choice. And let me know how you go!

So, how does it sound replacing “I must get this work done” with “I choose to get this work done”? Better? I thought so… Feel free to share your thoughts using your favourite button!